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The Rise of Capitalism and the Roots of Anti-American Terrorism


  • Tim Krieger
  • Daniel Meierrieks


This contribution examines the role of capitalism in anti-American terrorism. Using data for 149 countries between 1970 and 2007, this contribution, contrary to expectations from capitalist peace theory, does not find that Anti-American terrorism increases with external economic liberalization or decreases with higher levels of economic openness. However, consistent with economic norms theory, higher levels of market-capitalism are associated with less anti-American terrorism, whereas the process of marketization fuels it. This suggests that interest groups that have benefitted from the pre-market order deliberately target the USA, where anti-American terrorism serves the purpose of limiting the perceived marketization and Americanization of their communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks, 2014. "The Rise of Capitalism and the Roots of Anti-American Terrorism," CESifo Working Paper Series 4887, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4887

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Mousseau & Demet Yalcin Mousseau, 2008. "The Contracting Roots of Human Rights," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 45(3), pages 327-344, May.
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    4. Michael Mousseau, 2011. "Urban poverty and support for Islamist terror: Survey results of Muslims in fourteen countries," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(1), pages 35-47, January.
    5. Gerald Schneider & Nils Petter Gleditsch, 2010. "The Capitalist Peace: The Origins and Prospects of a Liberal Idea," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 107-114, May.
    6. Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks, 2011. "What causes terrorism?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 3-27, April.
    7. Richard Kirk, 1983. "Political terrorism and the size of government: A positive institutional analysis of violent political activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 41-52, January.
    8. Gerald Schneider, 2014. "Peace through globalization and capitalism? Prospects of two liberal propositions," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 51(2), pages 173-183, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meierrieks, Daniel & Krieger, Tim, 2015. "Modernization and Islamist Conflict," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113142, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Dimant, Eugen & Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2017. "Negative returns: U.S. military policy and anti-american terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2017-05, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.

    More about this item


    terrorism; anti-Americanism; capitalism; market economy; globalization;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General


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